ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Lobos get a reprieve when an apparent Wyoming third-down conversion is overruled, but the Lobos can’t generate a first down throwing the ball. It’s over; Wyoming wins 28-23, and there will be no bowl game for the 2012 New Mexico Lobos. Look for coverage in Sunday’s Journal and on abqjournal.com.
… An all-too deliberate UNM drive ends with a 15-yard personal foul penalty, forcing a Lobo punt. Wyoming takes over at its 20 with 2:02 left. New Mexico has two timeouts. Still 28-23 Cowboys.
… New Mexico forces a Wyoming punt, takes over at its own 10-yard line with 6:22 left in the game. Table set for Cole Gautsche and the UNM offense with Wyoming leading 28-23.
Lobos come right back, driving 71 yards in eight plays for a TD. Two-point conversion attempt fails, leaving Wyoming up 28-23 with 8:59 left in the game. Key play: a 35-yard option keeper by Cole Gautsche, taking the ball to the Wyoming 1-yard line. Gautsche has 133 yards rushing, a career high, on 15 carries.
….Wyoming answers with a 9-play, 65-yard touchdown drive. Brett Smith, with all day to throw, hits Jalen Claiborne, all alone in the end zone, for the score. It’s 28-17 Wyoming with 13:23 left in the fourth quarter. We’ll see how much this drive takes out of the Lobos.
…Lobos have everything going now. They’ve marched 77 yards to the Wyoming 3-yard line, all on the ground, but have called a timeout facing a 4th-and-goal. After first lining up to go for it, they’ve got Justus Adams out to attempt a 20-yard field goal. GOOD — Wyoming 21, New Mexico 17 with 42 seconds left in the third quarter. We’ll call this our third-quarter update unless something crazy happens in the next 42 ticks of the clock. Fun game. Lobos completely dominant in the third Q.
… Gotcha! Cole Gautsche hits a wide, wide open Ty Kirk with a 52-yard TD pass, making the score Wyoming 21, New Mexico 14 with 10:04 left in the third quarter. The Lobos are right back in this one. This how it’s supposed to work — the option drawing up the defense and allowing receivers to sneak behind the secondary. The Lobos have completely dominated the early going in the second half.
.. Promising Lobo drive ends when David Anaya fumbles at the Wyoming 13, but Lobos force a punt and take over at their 48 with 10:12 left in the third quarter. Still 21-7 Wyoming.
…Second half about to begin. Lobos will receive the kickoff.
… Halftime stats: New Mexico, 150 yards rushing, 97 (really!) passing. Wyoming, 51 rushing, 257 passing. Cole Gautsche: 74 yards rushing, 6-of-10 passing for 97 yards and a TD. Wyoming QB Brett Smith, 9-of-17 passing for 257 and three TDs. Total offense: Wyoming 308 on just 32 plays, New Mexico 247 on 41. Lobos controlled the ball for 19 minutes but have just 7 points to show for it. Smith’s three TD passes traveled a total of 188 yards. New Mexico RB Kasey Carrier has 44 yards on 15 carries, a 2.9-yard average. Like UNLV last week, Wyoming is concentrating on taking away the dive and taking its chances on the perimeter. So far, it’s working.
… Interesting development on the Lobos’ last drive of the half: Cole Gautsche actually looks good throwing the ball — 5-of-6 for 49 yards. But, like last week at UNLV, the Lobos are generating lots of yards but very few points.
… The Lobos drive from their own 20 to the Wyoming 17 in the final 1:31 of the half, but Justus Adams’ 34-yard FG attempt is blown wide right. It’s 21-7 Wyoming at halftime.
…New Mexico defense forces Wyoming punt from the Cowboys’ 44 with 1:39 left in the first half.
Lobos forced to punt from their own 17 with 3:46 left in the first half, down 21-7. Wyoming takes over with great field position at their 49.
Wyoming QB Brett Smith has been brilliant throwing the ball. After buying time with his feet, he hits Jalen Claiborne with a 33-yard touchdown pass. Wyoming leads New Mexico 21-7 with 5:17 left in the first half.
… Brett Smith strikes again. A Smith-to-Dominic Rufran pass goes 64 yards for a TD, giving Wyoming a 14-7 lead with 9:01 left in the first half. This time, the Cowboys take 23 seconds to score from their own 9-yard line. It appeared that right corner Tim Foley was the victim.
… After a beautiful 51-yard punt (no return) by Ben Skaer, Wyoming starts from own 9-yard line with 9:34 left in the second Q.
… After the Lobos took almost 7 minutes to score a touchdown, Wyoming needed only 12 seconds. A Brett Smith-to-Robert Herron pass goes 81 yards for a TD. Busted coverage in the secondary. It’s 7-7 with 12:28 left in the first half.
…. Cole Gautsche hits wide-open tight end Andrew Aho for a 7-yard TD pass. Lobos lead 7-0 with 12:46 left in the second quarter. Scoring drive: 13 plays, 96 yards, 6:47. Quintessential Lobo drive, except for the TD pass at the end. That’s UNM’s third TD pass of the season. Outstanding decisions by Gautsche on the option.
… First quarter stats: Lobos 117 yards total offense, Wyoming 51. Lobos had the ball for 9 minutes, 3 seconds. Their kind of game so far.
… After one quarter, it’s New Mexico 0, Wyoming 0. Lobos have a promising drive going, having marched from their own 4 to the Cowboys’ 42. Quarterback Cole Gautsche has runs if 18, 11 and 11 yards on the drive.
….After an effective Wyoming punt, Lobos have the ball on their own 4 with 4:33 left in the 1st Q. Still 0-0.
….UNM fake field-goal play fails, Wyoming has the ball, 0-0, at their 23 with 7:50 left in the first Q.
… Lobos win the toss but defer, taking the wind instead of the ball. And, we’re off!
… It appears true freshman Cranston Jones will start for UNM at left cornerback ahead of senior Destry Berry, who had a tough day last week at UNLV — not that he was the only one. Senior linebacker A.J. Butler, who moved this week from inside linebacker to outside “sam” LB, is listed as the starter ahead of sophomore Tevin Newman.
… Good afternoon from University Stadium, where the New Mexico Lobos (4-6 overall, 1-4 Mountain West) and the Wyoming Cowboys (2-7, 1-4) will tee it up in a little less than half an hour.
We’ve got temps in the low 50s-high 40s with a strong breeze that appears to be predominantly out of the west.
I’ll be blogging with updates at the quarter and halftime breaks as well as with score changes, trends and whatever else is interesting.